The Minister of Water, Environment and Agriculture signs a capacity building agreement with the United Nations Development Programme

Feb 20, 2018

His Excellency the Minister of Water, Environment, and Agriculture; Eng. Abdulrahman bin Abdulmohsen Al-Fadhley signed a project document with HE Dr. Ashok Nigam, Resident Coordinator of the United Nations and Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, 4/6/1439H, corresponding to 20/2/2018. The project (Duration 4 years, Budget USD 24,850,426) fully funded by the Government of Saudi Arabia aims to build relevant capacities and services for both integrated management and sustainable development in the water sector in Saudi Arabia, which fits within the framework of Vision 2030.

His Excellency, Minister Al-Fadhley, expressed in a press statement that he was pleased to sign this agreement with the UNDP. The Minister pointed out that this agreement is an extension of the agreement between the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Nations Development Programme that was made in the year 1976. HE said that the National Water Strategy that was updated during 2017 is the basis from which these efforts were launched. Within the framework of updating this plan under the title of “National Strategy for Water for 2030”, a number of programmes, initiatives, and developmental projects have been formulated, many of which will be implemented in cooperation with UNDP.

In signing the project agreement, Dr. Ashok Nigam “commended the Kingdom for prioritizing integrated sustainable development and management of the water sector under Saudi Vision 2030.  There are important challenges that the Kingdom faces in this sector and this project is a bold and commendable response to the challenges, very much along the lines of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).”

Dr. Nigam said that “UNDP is pleased to partner with the Ministry for the achievement of the targets that have been set by the government in this important sector.”

He noted that the cooperation simultaneously supports Saudi Vision 2030 and the SDG 2030, chiefly SDG Goal 6 the sixth objective which ensures access to safe water and sanitation and SDG Goal 12 on ensuring sustainable consumption and production patterns for sound management of

freshwater ecosystems that are essential to human health and to environmental sustainability and economic prosperity. This includes improving the quality of water through the minimizing of pollution, and ensuring the efficiency of various uses of water, as well as the implementation of its comprehensive management at all levels.

On the other hand, HE Dr. Faisal bin Sultan Al-Subaiyi Deputy Minister for Water Affairs explained that this agreement aims to design a comprehensive management system for renewable and non-renewable water sources, and modeling them in order to allocate them for different uses. The agreement aims to devise a comprehensive system that monitors and measures the rates of discharge and recharge. HE also added that the assessment of the effects of climate change is one of the objectives of this agreement; this is in order to know the effects and thus ways to benefit from them as well as ways to neutralize their risks.

HE also pointed out that one of the objectives of this agreement is to promote water awareness programmes in order to provide the public with the current water situation and the importance of conservation of water sources, in addition to developing, protecting and responsibly using water sources. The agreement also aims to enhance, and strengthen the technical and organizational capabilities of the Ministry of Environment, Water, and Agriculture in the management and development of water resources and supplies in the Kingdom.

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